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ERIC Number: ED580853
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
Agency, Socialization, and Support: A Critical Review of Doctoral Student Attrition
Rigler, Kenneth L., Jr.; Bowlin, Linda K.; Sweat, Karen; Watts, Stephen; Throne, Robin
Online Submission, Paper presented at the International Conference on Doctoral Education (3rd, Orlando, FL, 2017)
Almost universally, residential doctoral programs have reported attrition rates of up to 50% for face-to-face programs and 50-70% for online doctoral programs. The purpose of this critical review was to explore current literature for doctoral attrition and persistence to explore reasons and attributes for improved persistence to completion. We analyzed a final sample of 79 studies for context with doctoral attrition and persistence and, following coding, pattern matching, and synthesis, four final constructs emerged: (a) chair agency and chair-candidate relationship; (b) candidate socialization and support systems; (c) candidate preparedness; and (d) financial considerations. These constructs indicated that internal factors from within the doctoral program have affected attrition and we encourage doctoral educational leadership to implement strategies to improve dissertation chair practices through professional development, increased candidate support and socialization opportunities, creation of clearer pathways from academic to dissertation research coursework, and improved financial opportunities and support for candidates. We recommend quantitative explanatory studies to further examine the four factors within the doctoral program to examine the effects on doctoral candidate completion.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A